When I was a kid, my parents used to buy me the Lee Ames books on how to draw. I especially remember the how to draw Horses book that contained pages and pages of ovals and circles that miraculously became a finished drawing of a horse. I never understood how they made the transition. Whenever I tried a similar method, I ended up with a crudely drawn horse with a bunch of circles and ovals all over it. I finally started to just go to the finished horse drawing and tried to draw it on my own as best as I could.
Today I utilized Lee Ames’ techniques and I am quite happy with the way the proportion came out. I used my 7H pencil and drew a circle for Cordelia’s head and an oval for her torso and afterward started to fill in the form of her arms and feet and hands. Once I had a skeleton established, I defined the individual features and then outlined them with a black pen (so that you can actually see what I have drawn). It was fast and I think I got her hands “right”. I need some more models to practice this technique with. I am starting to think I could draw Cordelia from memory now.



Usually when I draw, I draw using the point-to-point method. This means that I start with a central location (most often the nose) and then I look at the distance between each feature, while looking at the negative space (or the part where there is not a feature) before I draw each line. I think this method works fairly well, but I am finding that it is not the best for rendering foreshortening. Today I attempted to utilize a looser style and I sketched out the main forms of Cordelia’s body and then I went back and refined them in more of the point-to-point style. I think this resulted in an image that is proportional and also drawn even faster than usual. My only issue was that I used a 7H pencil because it was the sharpest one I could find and I am so afraid of waking Cordelia up if I use my electric sharpener. 7H pencils have incredibly hard “lead” and it is almost impossible to make a dark line, so this drawing is a little hard to see. Note to self- sharpen pencils before Cordelia goes down for her nap.


This is another pen and ink drawing, but I have gone back to drawing Cordelia sleeping. I find that drawing the facial features with pen is not as difficult as it used to be, but I think I still need to practice on drawing the hands with pen. I have a hard time judging how large the hands need to be and once I have sketched them out with pen I do not know how to “fix” them without calling more attention to my mistakes. I may need to draw a series of hand portraits to practice.

#85 and #86

A few weeks ago I was visiting my Aunt Jane in Vermont and I had forgotten to pack any of my art supplies. I contemplated driving an hour Littleton, NH to see if I could find an art supply store, when I decided to just go to the local Kinney Drugs instead. It was there that I purchased the largest package of Crayola crayons that I could find and a cheap sketch pad and decided to see what I could do with the meager supplies that I had. When Cordelia and I got back to my Aunt’s we set up our crayons on the floor and she and I started to draw together. I grabbed the latest photo my sister had sent of my niece, Maddy and tried my best to replicate the photo. I found the hair and skin to be relatively easy, but I simply did not have the colors that I needed to make the teeth look “right” (also once you draw with crayon you cannot erase it, and I drew this completely with crayon and my lines were a little off in my initial sketch).

Today’s drawing is of my dog, Knightley. I was in my husband’s office today and on his desk he had an entire collection of promotional pens by telecom companies. I found one pen that had the smoothest flowing ink I have ever used and decided to draw a quick pen and ink sketch with it. When I had made up my mind to this, I saw Knightley sleeping peacefully at my feet and tried to draw him. However, as soon as he sensed that I was drawing him, he promptly stood up and trotted out of the room. I followed him to his dog bed in my bedroom and once he was back asleep, I hid behind the bed and drew him as fast as I could. I guess the dog gets a little self-conscious when I draw him…

#83 and #84

Yesterday I found time to draw, but I could not spare a moment to blog about it, so today I will be writing about the drawing that I did today and the one I drew yesterday. As I have mentioned before, my in-laws are visiting from Russia. They have been here a total of two days and already I am drawing in my “angry” style- with rapid and hard pencil strokes. I kept scribbling until my 7H pencil was dull- I do not know if it helped with my frustration, though. This is from a photo that I took of Cordelia when I was doing my photo shoot with her a few weeks ago. I was thinking that it may be a contender for a painting, but after I printed the photo, I realized that I did not love the expression on her face. Tonight in my haste to draw something, I grabbed the photo and just started scribbling. I really should have used a softer pencil to make the darks darker, but I had my mind on other things at that moment.

Yesterday I drew a preliminary sketch for another pastel painting that I want to make of Cordelia. I love the 3/4 view of her face and the lighting in the photo is really nice. Again this is from our photo shoot with her and the orange silk dress- I love so many pics that I took that day. This is a close-up view, but the finished painting will show more of her body.

I just did a smaller photo shoot with Cordelia this afternoon in front of the blooming wisteria in our front yard. I am not sure if there are any photos that will turn into paintings, but I see a few contenders.

Busy Bee

I have been super busy lately and haven’t had any time to sit and draw for the past few days. I have been cleaning the house and making all the final preparations for the arrival of the in-laws all day, and as Cordelia went down for her nap I decided that it was time for me to relax a little as well.
I sat on her bed with my sketchbook and my pen and it was so nice to just escape for a few moments. It relaxes me to just watch her sleep and the act of drawing her is even more soothing. But now I have so much more to do, so I have to make this short- but I am going to try to force myself to draw everyday again because I have been slacking!

Pastel Painting

I have been wanting to paint this picture for a few weeks now. I drew the preliminary sketch awhile ago and I was just waiting for the time to work on it. My in-laws are coming to visit at the end of the week and I have been organizing our guest room, which doubles as my art supply storage space. I came across a stack of Mi Tientes (sp?) pastel paper mounted on mat board that I forgotten about and decided to try out my pastel and colored pencil technique on this paper.
I think pastel pencils would have worked better for adding the little details, so I think that is what I am going to invest in next. But for now, this is the largest drawing that I have done for my 1000 portraits projects and I am quite impressed with how fast I drew it (it is 16″x20″).

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